Governor Noem Signs Executive Order Banning Federal Grants Tied to Critical Race Theory

Governor Noem Signs Executive Order Banning Federal Grants Tied to Critical Race Theory

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2021-11, which directs the South Dakota Department of Education to refrain from applying for any federal grants tied to critical race theory.

“Critical race theory has no place in South Dakota schools. These ideas are un-American. We are ‘one nation, under God, indivisible,’ yet critical race theory seeks to divide us based on inaccurate revisions to our nation’s history,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Our students should learn America’s true history by studying both our triumphs and our mistakes. Only then will students learn that America remains the shining example of exceptionalism throughout the history of the world.”

At the urging of South Dakota Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson, South Dakota State Historian Ben Jones, and others, the US Department of Education removed all references to the 1619 Project and Ibram Kendi from their American History and Civics-National Activities Grants. However, the grants’ priorities continue to allude to this divisive revisionist history.

“The revised proposals from the US Department of Education still advocate critical race theory in all but name,” continued Governor Noem. “We are the Mount Rushmore State, home to our nation’s greatest monument to our history. And we take the study of American history seriously. Our classrooms are meant for education, not indoctrination, and that is how we will continue to operate in South Dakota.”

Under the Executive Order, the South Dakota Department of Education is barred from applying for any federal grants in history or civics. The Board of Education Standards continues to work on revisions to South Dakota state history and civics standards. These revisions will be consistent with the civics initiative proposed by Governor Noem and passed by the legislature this past legislative session.  Governor Noem had also earlier requested a review of policies by the South Dakota Board of Regents to ensure the state’s higher education system remains focused on honest, patriotic education.

The executive order can be downloaded here.


Political Nerd Alert! Heading to Nashville, and the APIC National Convention!

Getting excited! By this time tomorrow, I’ll be in Nashville.  I’m not going to check the kind of music they have in that town (country and western), I’m going because this year Nashville is hosting the 2021 American Political Items Collectors National Convention!

Here’s me with a couple of things on my wall, including a giant 9 inch Goldwater pin.

The 2021 APIC Convention will feature vendors and collectors, with what I believe will be around 200 tables of people buying and selling. This is my first year going, so I skipped setting up a table to simply go watch and learn.  There are over 1500 active members of the organization who collect political memorabilia to help preserve and expand interest in our nation’s political history.

There will be everything from pins for a dollar or less to items selling up into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Most of what will be at the convention are pinback buttons – which actually are not the first type of political memorabilia.  Early on in our nation’s history saw political clothing buttons (Including for George Washington), and cloth ribbons. Buttons didn’t come on to the scene until later.  In the time of Lincoln, buttons were created by using a tintype or ferrotype photo process and were not terribly common.

One of the better South Dakota pins

The traditional pinback that we still use today was invented around 1892, and became wildly popular starting in 1896 with the campaign of McKinley against Democrat William Jennings Bryan. Here’s where you start seeing colorful designs, pictures of both candidates and slogans that you still see today.

Just like many other events that fell victim to COVID last year, the convention was forced into hiatus, but is now back and set to be the largest gathering of people who collect political buttons and other items in the country.

I’m skipping many of the events this week, which started Monday/Tuesday, but I’ll be there for the big show starting tomorrow through Sunday afternoon before I return home poorer, but richer for my experiences. I do have a few items to take with me to do some horse trading with, but I’m going mainly to look, learn, and see if there are some South Dakota items that I don’t have that I need in my collection.

If you’re interested in the hobby and the history of political advertising, check out the APIC organization’s website here, or the APIC Facebook group.

(Update. Maybe I’m going. Allegiant is starting to cancel flights left and right. Ugh. I should have known better than to use them.)

SDAHO explores and emphasizes legality of private employers requiring vaccination

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations is posting on their website tonight a few notes for healthcare employers on why the organization believes overall that employers are well within their legal rights to mandate vaccination for employees as a condition of employment, subject to a few rules:

Providers, as private employers, have no prohibition on vaccine mandates under federal law so they really need to stay attuned to what is happening on the state level as mentioned above.

Two recent court decisions have addressed whether a hospital or public university can mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for employees and students. Both of these cases upheld the vaccine mandate, even while the current vaccines are only under Emergency Use Authorization. Based on these decisions we will likely see more public and private employers implement mandates before we see full FDA approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Finally, if providers implement a policy requiring a COVID-19 vaccine (or other vaccine) as a condition of employment, federal and state law allows employees to request an exemption based on a disability/medical condition or religious objections. Providers should carefully review the EEOC guidance as well as any corollary state law guidance on how to implement such a program within their organization. There is a process in how to address any exemptions to a vaccine mandate and those with flu vaccine mandates should be familiar with this accommodations process already.

Read the entire article here.

People trying to get government to intervene and tell businesses what qualifications they can or cannot put on their employees is a very troubling type of government intervention.  Especially since the right to be infectious is not a protected class under federal law.

If an organization such as Sanford (who is in the news recently for such a mandate) does not wish to employ the unvaccinated in a health care setting, that’s their right, as much as it is for those who don’t like it to take their business elsewhere.

Last time I checked, we still operate under the free enterprise system.

At least for the moment.

Guest Column: Why Senator Rounds Should Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Will Thomssen

Why Senator Rounds Should Support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
by Will Thomssen, IUOE Local 49

As a member of the Executive Board for Local 49, I represent skilled workers from across the construction industry. Speaking for myself and our organization, we support the proposed bipartisan infrastructure package, which will be a historic investment in American infrastructure. A deal of this magnitude is a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity that our country is long overdue for. In addition to fixing America’s roads and bridges, it will deliver clean water to communities across the nation and finally connect rural America to high-speed internet. Our workers and businesses stand to benefit from the hundreds of billions pumped into the American economy if Republicans and Democrats can compromise. Funded by $1.2 trillion over 8 years, the bill utilizes several funding mechanisms including the redirection of excess emergency relief funds from the covid-19 pandemic response.

If the bipartisan infrastructure framework is passed by Congress, American communities and workers will enjoy substantial, long awaited benefits. The bill provides for the modernization and expansion of federal investment in a variety of physical infrastructure projects, most notably broadband and clean energy. Helping ensure all Americans are connected to broadband is critical for their economic future. And the deal provides new investment into clean water and wastewater systems to replace their faulty predecessors. It finances the removal of lead pipes that have poisoned Americans for generations and expands access to clean drinking water for rural and underserved communities.

More traditional infrastructure projects, which are just as necessary, are also included in the proposed framework. The repair and rebuilding of our roads and bridges will finally be fully funded. The American public will also benefit from upgrades to run-down mass transit systems and airports. Old school and transit buses will be replaced by electric alternatives, significantly reducing emissions from our transportation sector. On that front, the bill also funds the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations, which are quickly becoming a necessity.

The bill increases our resilience against foreign cyber-attacks and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Both of those threats to our infrastructure have become more frequent in recent years and must be addressed. This bipartisan framework enables the modernization and enhancement of security for our entire electric power grid, while also establishing a new Infrastructure Financing Authority to complement existing funding mechanisms.

Congress has the opportunity to pass this infrastructure bill into law, but for that to happen, they need the full support of leaders such as Senator Rounds. By publicly voicing his support for this bipartisan infrastructure framework, Senator Rounds can play a crucial role in repairing America’s infrastructure. This historic deal is a rare opportunity that must not be passed up.


Thune: Democrats’ New Death Tax Would Crush Family Farms, Businesses

Thune: Democrats’ New Death Tax Would Crush Family Farms, Businesses

“Americans’ bank accounts should not be regarded as a bottomless barrel of money to pay for Democrats’ preferred government programs.”

Click here or on the picture above to watch the video. 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending spree and the cost that would ultimately fall on the backs of hardworking middle-income families. Thune noted that the Democrats’ new death tax would force Americans to pay more money in taxes on assets passed on from generation to generation. Last week, Thune led the entire Senate Republican caucus inurging President Biden to abandon his effort to impose a capital gains tax increase on family-owned businesses, farms, and ranches.

Senator John Thune praises Education Department for backing off CRT promotion, but warns they left themselves wiggle room.

US Senator John Thune was featured on the college fix website today for thanking the US Department of Education from backing off promoting critical race theory, but also warned that we need to be vigilant about it coming back.

South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune gave a speech in his chamber of Congress today praising the Department of Education for backpedaling from “radical and divisive propaganda…for civics and American history education” but warning “there’s still a lot of reason to be concerned.”


After his warning that people ought to still be concerned about what President Biden’s Department of Education is up to, Thune said, “The department’s reversal was cloaked in bureaucratic language, leaving room for a future flip-flop by the administration.”

Read it all here.